It’s the end of an era. After five decades of holding the tour at the now Trump National Doral golf course, the Professional Golfer’s Association Tour is heading to Mexico in 2017. They said it was due to financial reasons. Donald Trump is also lamenting the decision, while saying that he hopes the PGA will have “kidnapping insurance” for when they move the tour south of the border (via Sun Sentinel):
The event at Trump National Doral has had many names, most recently World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, and over the years the biggest stars in pro golf have competed on a national stage at the famed Blue Monster course.
The contract with Cadillac for the event’s sponsorship expired after this year’s tournament, and the PGA Tour says a lack of sponsorship forced the move.
“The decision made here was based on the reality that we were not able to secure sponsorship for next year's WGC at Doral ...” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem told reporters in Dublin, Ohio, Wednesday, where the Tour is playing this week. “At the same time, we had an opportunity to build what we think is going to be a spectacular event in an area that is strategically important to the growth of the sport, and the activity of the PGA Tour that has been focused in South America and Central America for the last good number of years.”
Yet, it’s easy to see this how this move could be viewed as a direct result of Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigration and his suggestion that he might institute a ban on Muslim immigrants. After all, the PGA said they were going to shop somewhere else to hold their tournament around the same time the 2016 Republican nominee was making such claims. Larry O’Connor noted that this could be an action by the political correctness police over at Hot Air, and provided the December statement from the PGA that was featured in Golf magazine:
“We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf. The PGA Tour has had a 53-year commitment to the Doral community, the greater Miami area and the charities that have benefited from the tournament. Given this commitment, we are moving forward with holding the 2016 event at the Blue Monster. Immediately after the completion of the 2016 tournament, we will explore all options regarding the event’s future.”
Trump, of course, is not happy with the decision, and said that he hopes the PGA will have “kidnapping insurance” (via USA Today):
The WGC[World Golf Championship]-Mexico Championship will be held March 2-5 in 2017. Finchem said the Tour has narrowed the site of the tournament down to two venues. But according to Golf Channel, which cited unnamed sources inside the PGA Tour, the event will be played at Club de Golf Chapultepec near Mexico City. Trump was the first to say such a move was coming during an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. Trump purchased Doral in 2012 and poured $250 million into renovations of the hotel and golf courses, including the famed “Blue Monster.” Trump told Hannity about the move to Mexico City and added, “by the way, I hope they have kidnapping insurance.”.